Family works to support the smallest fighters
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – “Our son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2015 at the age of five,” Regina Fisher explained. “We were not prepared for the impact this diagnosis would have on our family and our future. In order to help our family cope with Declan’s diagnosis, we attended a number of family-centered events for families battling childhood cancer.
“As part of these events, it was common to have a parents’ meeting when parents could discuss their fears, coping strategies, and anything else they wanted to share. We were surprised to hear how many families felt like their children fighting cancer were forgotten in the sea of cancer awareness focused on adult cancers.”
This sparked a passion in the family to do something more – to do something for the families affected by this heart-wrenching experience and to research the disease that might claim the lives of their little ones.
“We were heartbroken that anyone would feel that their child is ‘forgotten’ when they are facing this intense battle for life,” she added. “To feel like their family is alone in the fight. We wanted to do something to show these families that they are not forgotten and that people do care for these smallest cancer fighters while raising awareness for childhood cancer. Childhood cancer in general is considered underfunded. We wanted to support families while raising awareness for the need for further research.”
Regina said that the process in moving forward with a benefit took them three years, which culminated in the development of a charity.
“This winter we founded the ‘Support the Smallest Fighters’ organization, with our first event being a two mile run/walk and kids fun run to get people out and show their support for these special children and their families while raising awareness for the challenges they face and the need for more research,” Regina said. “As this is our first year we are hoping to raise $2,500 to support non-profit organizations providing support to children fighting cancer and their families.”
The event will take place Sept. 22 at Wildwood Park, 1800 S. Roddis Ave., Marshfield, with registration starting at 8 a.m.
“Our goal is that each year proceeds will be designated to an organization that has supported children battling cancer and their families,” Regina added. “This year our committee determined that Angel on My Shoulder would be the recipient of any proceeds from the event. Angel on My Shoulder provides a number of different camps, one of which is a family camp that we have attended. Attending these camps offered by Angel on My Shoulder and other organizations were our life line to other families and to coming to terms with our families ‘new normal’, where there is a constant fear of cancer returning.”
For more information or to volunteer, contact Regina at [email protected].